Happy Daylight Savings Sunday! Who’s dragging this morning?

Oddly, I woke up at my usual 5:30 AM and didn’t even realize it was really 4:30 because my phone automatically changed times during the night. It wasn’t until I got downstairs and started making my coffee that I noticed how dark it was outside.

I’m sure I’ll feel it as the day wears on, but for now, I’m going to roll with it.

We’ve had nice weekend, how about you?

Our kitchen backsplash got installed on Friday, and the guys were here till dinnertime, so we just ordered pizza and hung out at home and watched TV.

Yesterday morning, I went to a Bible study with the ladies at church, and then I ran to the mall for a few things I needed. We got together with friends last night, and today we have our usual church plans.

My son has Spring Break this week, so he’ll be coming in sometime this afternoon. The girls have school as usual, so we didn’t plan any travel. It’s a good thing, since everyone seems to be in a tizzy over this virus.

Speaking of which, my mom and I are debating changing our plans to fly to Boston in two weeks. We may just drive it after all, which is a bummer, because I was looking forward to hopping on a plane and being there in 90 minutes.

Oh, well. The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men…

I’m not worried about contracting the virus, but I am worried about getting stuck in a quarantine situation. Although it seems like most cases are self-quarantines, so maybe we’d be okay. We’re going to wait a few more days to decide.

In other news, I’ve had a few requests for an update on my intermittent fasting journey, so I thought I’d make that the focus of today’s Coffee Talk.

Intermittent Fasting Update

I’m well into my third month, and I finally feel like I’m getting the hang of IF! (If you’re just tuning in, you can read my first few posts about IF to get caught up.)

First, a few disclaimers.

#1. This is not advice; it’s simply my personal story. I am not an expert on intermittent fasting… or much of anything, really. Please do your own research and make the best decision for you.

#2. If you are a naysayer, there is no need to lecture or warn me. I have done my research, and I’m quite confident in what I’m doing. You can certainly ask respectful questions, but I will not approve contentious comments.

#3. If you are curious, skeptical (trust me, I was too!) or just want to know more, I highly recommend reading Dr. Fung’s The Obesity Code. I also found Gin Stephens’ Delay, Don’t Deny extremely helpful.

Dr. Fung is a nephrologist who has successfully treated hundreds of patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and Gin Stephens is a former science teacher with an academic doctorate who is really good at breaking down and explaining the research around intermittent fasting.

Plus, Gin has experienced personal success and victory over obesity with intermittent fasting, so it’s nice to get both perspectives.

As for me, let’s start with a little backstory.

You may think I’m naturally thin, but while I was blessed with a good metabolism, I’ve been in a life-long battle with the scale, and I had a love/hate relationship with food for many years.

While I’ve always been a healthy weight by medical standards, it has fluctuated quite a bit over the years, and verrrry gradually gotten higher as I’ve gotten older. Like most Americans, I came to accept that gradual weight gain as we age is just part of life, and I tried to make peace with it.

I’ve done Jenny Craig, Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, 1-on-1 diet counseling, the 21 Day Sugar Detox, Whole30, FASTer Way To Fat Loss… and probably more diets that I can’t recall right now. They all worked for a time (except I never got the hang of FWTFL) but nothing gave me long-lasting success. Until I discovered IF, I figured that’s just the way it goes.

I don’t regret any of those experiences, though. Every diet I did taught me something, and even though I’m 25 pounds heavier than I was 25 years ago, I’m a heckuva lot healthier — both mentally and physically. And even though my weight crept up over the years, I developed better eating habits along the way, retrained my sweet tooth, and learned to pay more attention to my satiety signals.

Still, I wasn’t comfortable at the weight I kept coming back to, which was the 140-143 range, and it was getting harder and harder to drop even a few pounds.

I knew it was only going to get worse with age and menopause, and I desperately wanted to find a solution that’s healthy and sustainable and won’t make me feel deprived.

Enter intermittent fasting.

After dabbling in IF last summer and fall, I finally decided to commit at the end of last year. I joined the Delay, Don’t Deny Facebook Group, but that brought up even more questions.

I’m the kind of person who needs to dive into the research and really understand what I’m doing to give me the motivation to do something whole-heartedly and stick with it, so I ordered Delay, Don’t Deny and read it in less than a week. That gave me the information I needed to proceed with confidence.

After that, I read Dr. Fung’s book, and that’s really when it all came together.

I also found it extremely helpful to listen to episodes of the Intermittent Fasting Stories podcast. I learn so much from hearing people’s unique stories, and it helped me stay motivated to keep going and trust the process when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted.

Three Month Update

At this point, I’m well into month three, and while I started IF for weight loss, I’ve learned that there are tons of related health benefits as well. People often find their cholesterol numbers get better, some can reduce their thyroid medication, some experience relief from migraines, to name a few.

The amount of energy I have is incredible, and I don’t lose mental focus throughout the day like I used to. I no longer get tired in the afternoons, and I remain productive all day.

This is very common with IF. Everyone Gin interviews in her podcast mentions the energy and mental focus as some of their first results. This is because digesting food takes a lot of energy.

When you aren’t constantly eating and asking your body to digest food all day long, you have more energy for other things… like living! Even if the scale never budged, I’d keep doing IF for the energy alone.

At first, I had difficulty sleeping, but that has evened out, and now I’m sleeping better than I have in months.

I’m hopeful that I will see other health benefits as I get further along, but aside from the increased energy, the most notable difference at this point is the number on the scale. That number is further supported by the inches I’ve lost and my smaller clothing size.

At this point, I’ve lost about 6 pounds, as well as 1.5 inches in my bust, waist, and hips. I’ve also gone down a pants size.

Most of that happened during the first couple of weeks, and I have to be honest, I was disappointed to see my weight loss level off and actually seesaw back and forth a bit during month two.

My measurements stayed about the same too, and I was also dealing with some unpleasant intestinal issues and bloating.

It wasn’t fun, but fortunately I was listening to the podcasts and lurking in the Facebook Group, and I knew that was often a normal part of the process. I was determined to stay the course and trust the process, and sure enough, things have finally leveled off, and the scale started moving again during month three.

I’ve been keeping a weight chart, as Gin suggests, and I only compare my weekly averages.

Oh, how I wish I’d known about this method years ago!!! I mean, we all KNOW the scale can fluctuate a few pounds day to day, and we KNOW better than to get caught up in that number, but it can really mess with your mind.

Now that I’m only comparing weekly averages, the number on the scale doesn’t make or break my day, and I am looking at true fat loss, not just daily fluctuations due to water weight and other random factors.

Several people have asked, and I’m sure more are wondering: What was my starting weight, and what is my goal weight?

My official starting weight was 142.

I kept trying to get the scale back under 140, and no matter what I did (before IF) it wasn’t happening. I saw numbers on the scale as low as 135 during the first month, but it hovered mostly in the 137-138 range during month two.

Right now, as I’m starting my third week of month three, I’m seesawing between 134 and 136. Last week’s average was the lowest one yet — 135.8.

So basically, I’ve gone from 142 to 136 in 11 weeks.

As for my goal weight? I don’t really have one.

I feel really good right now, and I don’t need to lose more weight to be content, but I wouldn’t mind being in the 132-135 range. I was pretty happy in that range for a large chunk of my 30s, and it wouldn’t mean going down another pants size. It would just make me more comfortable in the size 28 that I’m wearing right now.

I’m being very transparent about numbers because sharing clothes and how they fit is part of my job, and many of you depend on knowing those numbers to make your own purchasing decisions.

I also share these numbers because I want you to have realistic goals if you’re considering IF.

This is not a rapid weight loss plan.

This is a lifestyle change that will help you find and maintain your ideal weight, if you stick with it long enough. You also need to know that you may have to tweak your diet, especially if you don’t have a ton of weight to lose.

Which brings me to another question I get asked a lot: Can you really eat whatever you want during your eating window and lose weight?

The short answer is no.

When someone who practices IF says they eat whatever they want, that just means they don’t restrict certain foods. “Eat whatever you want” is not permission to eat all the things at once.

What and how much you can eat and still see weight loss results depends on your body, how insulin resistant you are, and how much weight you have to lose. It also changes over time.

Everyone’s IF journey is different, and what works for one person won’t work for someone else, so you really have to experiment and figure out what works for you.

What fasting does is enable you to listen to your body, and it eventually helps reset your satiety signals, so you aren’t as tempted to overeat.

The “whatever you want” part changes as you get more weeks and months behind you. Believe it or not, you will actually start to want foods that actually nourish and fuel your body with what it needs, and the ones that don’t become less and less appealing over time.

I was beginning to think that I was never going to get to that point, but within the past week or two, I finally have started to have those moments.

Another question I get a lot is: What is your eating:fasting window, and what times do you eat?

What I’m learning works best for me is what I intuitively knew from the start. I’ve played around with longer and shorter windows, but my happy place is 19:5 or 20:4.

That varies depending on how I feel and what my social schedule looks like, but I have the app on my phone set to 19:5. (I use the Zero app.)

I usually fast from 7PM until 2 or 3PM the next day. I usually break my fast with a small lunch or a snack, and then I eat dinner with the family. After dinner, I have a small piece of chocolate or a cookie, and I close my eating window.

I do not, however, recommend staring out with that small of an eating window. It’s generally advised to do 16:8 for the first month or so and gradually increase the fasting window if you want to.

Most people end up doing 18:6 or shorter eating windows because deep fat burning sets in between fasting hours of 16-24 hours. A lot of people play around with occasional longer fasts to optimize autophagy, but I haven’t done any of that yet and don’t really plan on it.

To answer another question I get a lot, I don’t know how many calories I eat, and I don’t count.

I haven’t significantly changed the foods that I eat, although I find myself avoiding cheese (formerly a favorite) because of some of those intestinal issues I mentioned earlier. I’ve also added Magnesium Citrate to my daily regimen. I take pills because the stuff you stir into drinks grosses me out.

The only other major change I’ve made since starting IF is committing to the clean fast. I think I mentioned this in one of my former updates, but I realized early on that the little bit of cream I was allowing myself to have in my coffee could be sabotaging my success, so I went to black coffee.

That or water is all I have while fasting. No stevia or cream in my coffee, no lemon in my water, just plain water or black coffee. Gin explains why this is important in her book, so I’ll just refer you to that.

It’s taken me this long, but I finally enjoy the taste of black coffee. Another victory for month three!

I could say so much more, but it’s time for me to get ready for church, and this post is already over 2,000 words!

If you aren’t an intermittent faster, this probably sounds hokey or faddish, and I get it. But fasting is nothing new, and there is a lot of science to back it up.

We are the only culture in the world that thinks snacking all day long is necessary or healthy, and that has only become a thing over the past 40-50 years. Think about it. Or better yet, read about it. I cannot recommend The Obesity Code highly enough.

I probably didn’t answer all of the questions people have, but hopefully I hit the highlights.

Basically, I feel like I’m finally hitting my stride with IF, and I’m so glad I stayed the course through a few rough weeks.

When I listen to people on Gin’s podcasts who are 6 and 12 months in, I get really eager to find out where IF will take me.

I think I’m finally fat adapted, and I’m happy with the weight loss I’ve seen so far and how easy it is to fast. I hope to start reaping more health benefits as I continue with this lifestyle.

Join The Conversation

97 Responses

  1. So thankful that you shared your IF story!  So VERY encouraging. Like you, I don’t have a ton of weight to lose, but since menopause have battled belly and boob weight. I am just finishing week 3 of DDD, and love it!  And you are right, I crave good healthy foods during my eating window. I have to admit, I did the FWTFL and managed to lose weight. It also helped me with learning to fast til noon.  BUT, seemed to me to be finicky, and I am too lazy. DDD is much more sustainable, in my opinion. Again, thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, that is how I felt about FWTFL. I just couldn’t deal with the counting and the carb and macro days… it was too complicated. I’m so glad IF is working for you.

  2. Great post! I have wanted to try IF but have used frequent migraine attacks as a reason not to. I’m eager to read the books you have recommended and go from there. Fasting makes sense to me and I can see it being a healthy lifestyle for most anyone. I wish all Americans would reconsider their diets as we have become a nation of fatties which will eventually lead to a major health crisis. IMO Have a good Sunday.

    1. Yes, I agree with you, and I think the health crisis is already here, unfortunately.

      I listened to a podcast this week where the woman being interviewed found that fasting actually helped her headaches… might be worth a try? Or maybe do some more research first, but I would look into it.

      1. Thank you so much for this post!  So helpful as I’m a few weeks into IF. I remember you mentioning that you use collagen. I started putting it in my morning coffee last summer. Now that I’ve started IF I’m having a hard time figuring out how to add it to my diet because I’m typically not an afternoon coffee drinker. I think you had mentioned you put it in soup?  Do you then have soup everyday?  Or put it in coffee in the afternoon?

        Thank you!

        1. Hey Ann. I tried to use it but sort of forgot and also had trouble figuring out what to put it in. I would like to use it, but I’m horrible about remembering to take supplements. I remember the magnesium because I really need it for regularity and it’s easy to pop a few pills. (That sounds really bad, lol…)

  3. On your recommendation, I read The Obesity Code. I learned so much and changed my way of thinking about what healthy eating looks like. Thanks for the update. It’s good to hear what the hard parts are, as well as the good.

  4. Thank you so much for the update. I started IF 2 months ago, mainly because of all the hype and I don’t have to think too hard- just time. The part I am having a hard time with is hunger pains. They come and go until my eating window opens. I have to keep busy. How do you handle the hunger pains or maybe you don’t get them?

    1. Yes, that is what I like best about IF. It’s just so easy.

      As far as hunger, I definitely get them, and Yelena’s point about recognizing that they come in waves and will go away is a good one. I also find that when I stay busy, I don’t notice it as much. But here are two other points to consider:

      1. are you doing a clean fast? if you’re spiking your insulin with herbal tea, diet soda, milk in your coffee, stevia, or anything like that, it will make the fast a lot harder.

      2. are you eating enough during your window ? or are you eating foods that satiate rather than empty carbs and sugars? maybe play around with carbs and proteins – some people need more of one or the other, it’s a bit of an experiment, and i’ms still trying to figure myself out where that is concerned.

      I hope that helps.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me. I have to admit that I have been adding cream to my coffee. ☕️😟 that might be contributing.  I’ll start keeping tabs on carbs/sugar to see if there is a trend. I do have chamomile tea during the evening. 🤷🏻‍♀️
        Again, really appreciate you sharing your IF journey.

    1. Count me down as not a fan of daylight savings time! Is it just me or is changing clocks something like being a NASA engineer?!😂 Changing my Garmin fitness activity tracker watch is so painful…. Log onto computer, try to figure it out. Not simple or easy! Congrats on weight loss! There is no perfect one size fits all for everyone but IF is based on good science. Thank you for sharing your experience and being so open and transparent. North Americans have gotten used to eating and grazing all day. Look where that has gotten us: overweight and obese. Europeans eat very differently from us. Dr Fung is based out of Toronto, Canada and many of his patients have diabetes. IF helps to regulate our insulin response which is key to weight management. To answer Bernadine’s question about hunger pangs: it helps to visualize hunger as a wave that comes and goes. Hunger is not a permanent state thankfully. I keep a thermos of hot herbal tea at work to sip on until my eating window opens. The tea helps to feel full and keep hunger pangs at bay. Looking forward to seeing your kitchen reno results. Have a blessed Sunday!

      1. Thank you Yelena, you’re right, it comes in waves. I drink coffee until my window opens, but might be better served if I try tea and water.  Interestingly,  I reward myself with a sweet before  end my eating window , but find I eat less and less of the sweet. 

      2. NASA engineer… haha! I’m happy that my phone and computer changed automatically. Now to remember how to change the clock in my car and on the oven…

        Thanks for bringing up the insulin – such an important part of the puzzle.

    2. Hi Jo-Lynne!
      I enjoyed reading about your health journey. IF is not for me, but I appreciate the information and transparency about your journey. It encourages me in my journey!!!!! I developed many food sensitivities following a bacterial infection that led to leaky junctions.ugh. I’ve had to learn how to food rotate to avoid additional sensitivities. Weight loss took a huge back seat to just regaining wellness. I’m exploring eating whole fresh foods and a lots vegetables, and cutting gluten-free items. Last week lost 1 pound which is great. I have a LONG way to go. I hope people will be as supportive of you as you have been with us all. Kitchen photos would be great!!!

        1. Hi, I am. I take a daily pro-strength probiotic, did testing to determine food sensitivities, eat better and almost every meal at home. Stress plays a major part and my job is stressful but I’m never relapsed. Thank God!

  5. Good morning!  Even though IF is not for me, I enjoyed reading how it is helping you!  You are smart for finding an eating plan that works for you before you reach 50.  Larry had gotten in the habit of late night snacking, every night.  For at least the first year and a half of this cancer battle, the doctor did not want him to lose weight.  Then they finally said that it was okay for him to do that, but he could not lose weight for anything.  Due to him being on so many cancer meds and the cancer, he has to get the doctors approval to try most things.  Well, he has finally stopped the late night snacking, and he’s down 12 lbs. from his highest weight.  And I have a also stopped my periodic late night snacking, which was the only time I ever snacked.  I am also doing Body Groove to get my heart rate up and get some daily exercise.  I love it and am already seeing improvement in my body.  Jo-Lynne, you are so right about there not being one weight loss plan/lifestyle that works for everyone.  All of us are unique, and we have to do what works for us.  Have a great day!

      1. Yes, it is a video.  I found it on FB.  I actually ordered the CD’s and downloaded the app.

  6. I’m a grazer so that would be hard for me. I have to have something with my coffee in the morning and cant imagine not eating til 2 so I guess it’s not for me. But would love to lose 5 lbs. Trying to eat less sweets. Glad your kitchen is finished. Now enjoy.

    1. You might be surprised what you can do… just sayin’. 🙂 But I get that IF is not appealing to everyone.

      I am SO enjoying my kitchen! Can’t wait to get the vent hood in there and the rest of the under cabinet lighting… should be done by the end of this week!

  7. Thank you for sharing your IF journey and update. I have done the 16:8 IF as part of FWTFL and have continued it.  I limit myself to under 50 calories during my fast (mostly a splash of milk in my tea and communion on Sundays!) I tried a clean fast and just couldn’t do it.   I haven’t read the book or listened to the podcast I have a couple of questions. You said you are starting to lose weight again. Does your body just continue to lose weight until it’s at a comfortable weight and then it just levels off?  Also, you really aren’t hungry?  Not a criticism but it doesn’t sound like you eat much.  I eat A Lot of food during my eating window.  I guess I just like eating.  😀

    1. Hey Gina, FWTFL was the first place I heard about IF, and while I could never get the hang of counting macros, I really liked the IF portion. I’m glad it’s working for you.

      From listening to the podcasts and various people’s stories, it sounds like your body does level off and find it’s natural “body set weight” after a time. I like food too much to be worried that I will keep losing weight to the point of getting too thin. Even now, the scale is up and down a lot b/c I tend to vary how much I eat day to day.

      I do get hungry some days, but not so much on others. I think it depends on what I eat the day before… not how much so much as what I actually eat. I’m trying to pay attention and learn what it is that satiates me so I can make better choices, but I expect it has to do with sugar intake and empty calories (like potato chips… I still love my chips!)

      And girl, I just like eating too. TRUST ME. There are days when I pack away a significant amount of calories in that 5 hours. I can eat a lot.

      1. Thanks.  I’ll be interested to hear more as you continue this.  I hope you’ll continue to post updates.  
        I agree it depends on what you eat the day before – when I tried just the IF for a couple of weeks and didn’t keep an eye on macros, I found if you eat empty calories or for me, don’t eat enough protein, I was famished the next morning.  Also, I work in an elementary school and I’ve found I can do a lot longer fast on the weekends than on weekdays when I’m dealing with little kids and personalities in the lunchroom.  I was getting snippy around 1pm with no food.  Now I have a snack around 12 and I’m much more patient.  

  8. I’ve been trying IMF since January but keep falling off. Your post today was just enough to motivate me to start again. I think the 20:4 window was just too small an eating window to start. I’m going to start with a 18:6 window. That allows me to have lunch and dinner. Perhaps, easing into a longer window is the way to go – for Me. Also, I’ve been putting milk in my two cups of morning coffee. So, I’ll try black. 😝 

    1. Hey Joanna, definitely try a longer eating window until you get used to it. And you may always be good with 18:6. It just depends on what and how much you’re eating during those 6 hours, and how your body reacts. I hear a lot of people doing that schedule, or even 16:8, for maintenance. It takes some experimentation to figure out what works best for you, but you definitely shouldn’t feel deprived.

  9. I really appreciate you sharing your IF journey. I’ve been doing it for a couple of months now, after reading DDD. (Actually, listening on Audible.) My rate of weight loss has been very slow, but for the most part, fairly steady. I’ve lot about 5-6 lbs in the two months. I have found that appetite correction really is a thing. My eating window is in the morning, because I just feel like I do better with that, but some mornings, I’m really not hungry until 9 or 10. My window typically opens around 6:30. I’m doing 18:6, but it often ends up being 19:5 or 20:4. Yesterday, we went to see the new Emma – matinee at 1pm because that’s how we roll :D, and I planned for my typical Milk Duds. The movie theater didn’t have them!!! So I got M&Ms instead. Another (I thought) candy love. I actually did not enjoy them. I stopped eating after only a few. Now to be fair, I’m pretty sure I would not have felt the same way about the Duds, but I was pretty shocked. All that to say, I feel like I’m eating in a more healthy way, and have a much better attitude towards food.

    1. Yes, isn’t it cool when appetite correction starts to kick in and you notice your tastebuds changing!?! I kept hearing people talk about it on the podcasts, and it’s finally starting to happen for me, and I am super stoked about it.

  10. Thanks for sharing your IF journey. Last August at 152 lbs. I decided it was time to do something. I started with low carb eating with great results, then in about October decided to throw in the time restricted eating. In February I reached the low 130’s and have been maintaining ever since.

  11. Because of you, Jolynne, I have gotten serious about IF. I had dabbled in it for a while, but you talking about it really got me motivated and I read Gin’s book, which was very helpful. I also need to have all the information when I do something. I feel so much better doing IF ( I’m at 16:8 )!
    Thanks for sharing your life with us!

  12. Thanks for sharing your IF journey. I don’t do IF but have made other changes along the way. I just turned 52 in January and I am in the pre menopause state, so wanted to get a start jump on it before now. I haven’t gained weight during this stage in fact I have lost. I am now at a comfortable weight and feel really good in my clothes. I have some toning I would like to do still, but I am about maintaining my size(6) in pants( 8 ) in some styles, and feeling comfortable. That was not the case a few years ago which prompted this change. I cant wait to see pics of the new backsplash and finished kitchen… How exciting…

    1. That’s awesome, so glad you have found a way to maintain a comfortable weight and feel good in your clothes. It makes such a difference in one’s outlook on life.

  13. Thank you for the post. I love how detailed you are. I read The Obesity Code on your recommendation and found it fascinating, especially how he debunked the calories in/calories out theory. I had always thought the reason IF worked was because, duh, you’re skipping a meal so less calories! Keeping insulin levels low makes so much sense (My son has Type 1 Diabetes so I know all about how insulin works!)  I am like you, the scale has crept up in the last few years. Losing 5 lbs is hard, almost impossible, and I feel like I barely eat anything. After reading the book, I have been doing some IF, not strictly or with a routine, but even what I’m doing, I like. If I eat a “bad” or super unhealthy meal for dinner, it feels really good to fast for a few extra hours the next day. If my goal is keeping insulin levels low rather than counting calories, it makes it harder to justify “cheating”. It just seems more concrete than anything else. AND it seems to be something next-level for those of us who are already eating healthy and exercising. So thanks again for sharing and keep us posted!!

    1. Yes, I agree about the next-level part. I was already eating fairly healthy (although snacking on crap b/c I thought I had to eat every few hours… oy!) and of course exercising, so I really needed something else.

      And thanks for bringing up the insulin – which is so key, of course. There is so much more I wanted to say about insulin and glycogen stores and fat stores and and the food industry… but the post was so long already. The book is the best way to get the info accurately, so I’m glad to hear people are reading it.

  14. I am so happy that I learned about IF from you! I am in the middle of month 2 and my hunger level is much better. I realize now the difference in wanting a certain food and actual hunger.

  15. Thank you for sharing your journey! Im giving it a try. Im forever up and dwn same 10 pds. Need a way to stay at a consistant, healthy weight and feel good.
    16:8 to start. You inspired me! 😊

  16. I had my thyroid removed several years ago & my body couldn’t convert the replacement thyroid meds I was given so, in 5 years, I gained 50 pounds with no change in habits, not to mention that I felt like I was dying. My doctor told me it was from my metabolism changing as I got older, but I knew it was much more than that. It was a struggle to find the right doctor & get a proper diagnosis & the right meds, and now to lose the weight. Three years later, I still had 35 lbs. that I couldn’t lose, and I had tried almost all of the same diets that you had, Jo-Lynne. Finally, I read the Obesity Code 2 months ago & started IF and it’s been a miracle for me! I’ve lost 5 lbs. & am still losing, and I couldn’t be happier.

  17. Thanks for the update! I have wondered how things were going. I didn’t think I could do IF but you gave me the motivation to try. I haven’t noticed any real weight loss after 1 month, but I probably need to get more serious on healthy eating. I have been doing 16:8. If anything I have noticed that I don’t get that shaky feeling anymore where I need to eat. I also have noticed that I have a better digestive system and am more “regular”….sorry if that’s TMI, but it was one thing that I noticed right away. I just feel like my body is working better over all. Plus, I just don’t really want to eat breakfast right away in the morning, so that part has been a little easier for me. And my body has never done well if I ate after 8 at night, as I always felt restless and had bad dreams:( It makes so much sense when you think of how these days we are training our bodies to eat constantly:( I think about when I grew up (I’m 46) that no one was constantly giving us snacks, like they do now at schools. In fact, most days I never ate breakfast as a kid because I just wasn’t hungry. Now I feel like we are shoving food down our kids throats and constantly telling them to eat. I just feel like we need to listen to our bodies more sometimes.

    1. I think it’s a great sign that you aren’t getting that shaky feeling anymore, and that you are seeing improvements in your digestion. I’m still not as “regular” as I want to be, but it’s getting better.

      I’m totally with you on shoving food down our kids’ throats. Even before discovering IF, I was passionate about eating real food, and it grosses me out how much food we shove at our kids, and in general how much food is available at all times everywhere. Now that I’m doing IF, I’m even more hyper aware of it.

      I hope this catches on, and the pendulum starts to swing back to a more reasonable way of eating. No culture in the world, at any time in history, has eaten as much and as often as we do in America these days, to say nothing of the industrial processing that is involved. And we wonder why we are all sick and obese. Anyway… #steppingoffmysoapboxnow 😬

      1. I so agree with this….I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while, we are so obsessed with food in this country…we celebrate everything with food: holidays, birthdays, communions, graduations, etc. etc. every event is marked with ‘what are we going to have to eat’ -it’s too much and it’s ridiculous. I am certainly guilty of this.  It’s really glutinous.  These comments here are wonderful and inspiring, and Jolynne,  you have given me food for thought, ha-no pun intended, and I’m going to revisit IF with more consistency this time; I’m half way through ‘obesity code’, so interesting. Thank you for all your great info on this topic.

  18. Thank you for this. I have been practicing IF for almost 2 years.  In that time I have lost 100 pounds and have been maintaining that loss for close to a year. I feel so much better. I sleep better as well.  I’m tired of people telling me how bad IF is for you. Thankfully,  my doctor approves.  There is so much science behind this way of eating. I don’t look at this as a diet but this is how I CHOOSE to eat.  Thanks again love your blog!!!

    1. 100 Pounds and keeping it off for a year is AMAZING!!! Good for you! And I totally agree about this not being a diet, but a way of eating. I like the term “way of eating” even better than lifestyle.

  19. I loved your update on IF. I’ve been doing it on and off since September. I haven’t always been clean fasting because I like my unsweetened almond milk in my coffee. I also snack on about 5 walnuts when I’m having trouble getting to 18 hrs. I’ve lost between 15-19 pounds since September but who is counting, right! I lost most of it in the first 6 weeks. I combined it with clean green keto which is basically a low carb, healthy fats lifestyle. I don’t need to lose more weight but I’d like to see some of the other benefits in my labs soon with BP, cholesterol and thyroid. You inspired me to try to go longer than 18 hrs and to really do clean IF. 

  20. I am on Day 51 of IF. I have lost 6.5 pounds (I think I want to lose another 4 or so), 3 inches total (but only .5 in my middle which is where I want to lose it.) I usually do 18:6 or 19:5, breaking my fast with a snack/light lunch, dinner with my husband then close the window, but I have done some 20 (and one 24 just because I didn’t get home from work until later.) Just plain water for fasting. I have just noticed the last few days that I have more energy. I also added Magnesium Citrate pills. I feel in control of food, rather than the other way around which is a huge plus for me. I need to start getting back to exercise (I have been having some shoulder and hip/butt issues, so I gave my body a break), which I will do. Thank you for posting about your IF journey; I had never heard of it before. I immediately read DDD, and then I joined the facebook group. I use the zero app. When I first downloaded the app, I put in all my past fasts (that was a great way to extend my fast that day.) I still get hungry, and I hope that will improve with time. I am hoping this stays a way of life for me. Thank you, thank you!

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! Definitely keep on keeping on, I believe you are older than I am, and it may take longer to see a change in the belly area. Mine still protrudes, although it looks a lot better than it did, but I’m hoping that will change as time goes on.

      1. I am older, 66 today in fact! I don’t expect that I will have a flat stomach (not at my age 🙂 but some improvement will be great. I will definitely keep at this; I find that I like the challenge of controlling when I eat, and I don’t feel “guilty” for what I eat. I tend to eat healthy, but it is nice to have a small dessert without the guilt or deciding I shouldn’t eat it.

          1. Thank you. I don’t eat much for dessert when I do, but it is nice to know that I can. I think that is one of the best parts of DDD; I don’t have to deny myself anything. Have a great day!

  21. Thanks for sharing your IF journey! I have doing 16:8 for over five years and am not going back! I didn’t really “need” to lose weigh. I did lose 5 lbs and definitely have seen a reduction in belly/inches. My biggest “success” has been learning to really listen to my body and notice how food impacts how I feel.

    Having said that, I do have concerns with the DDD Facebook group. I would warn anyone with a history of disordered eating to proceed with caution or, ideally, just avoid it. I’ll leave it there.

    1. Hey Deb, so happy to hear of your success with IF. Interesting to get your take on the DDD FB group. I do see some crazy stuff in there sometimes, but more often than not, it seems like the moderators do a good job with setting people straight and closing comments when necessary. That said, I could take it or leave it. The podcasts are what really keeps me going, now that I’ve read the books.

      1. Mostly I just get this vibe of “if a reasonable amount is good for me, more must be better”. Again, I think those with a healthy approach to eating can just ignore that…eat the chicken, spit out the bones…but as the daughter of a lady who went to her grave never having made peace with food, I’m hyper sensitive to that. I don’t think extreme fasting is anymore sustainable than any other fad diet. When someone says “I’m not losing weight so I’m going to try a 72 hour fast”, I just don’t think the response should ever be “good idea”.

  22. I have completed 295 consecutive fasts. I can’t even believe it. It had become a way of life that I can sustain. I hit my goal weight back in October and now maintaining. I feel so much better and have more energy. My thyroid medication has been reduced and at 57 I can finally manage my weight. So true you cannot eat whatever you want but I do eat mostly what I want. I usually do 20:4 or 21:3. I did see a nutritionist before starting and she adjusted my macros so I would feel fuller during my fasts

    1. Hey Caroline, good info on the macros. Maybe some who are experiencing hunger can look into that. I am lazy, so I just power through, haha! Congrats on 295 consecutive fasts! I can’t wait until I can say that. 🙂

  23. Thanks for the IF update, I appreciate your level of transparency! I so love it when women can keep it real with each other. I am 8 or 9 weeks in and was losing fairly steadily but gained a pound or 2 this week that has been discouraging. I have been strict about the fasting and have a narrow window, but I need to clean up what I eat within my window. It’s inspiring to know that you started to see results again month 3! Have a great week!

  24. Thanks for the IF update. I’ve read DDD and The Obesity Code. The science behind it is fascinating. I’ve lost 9 lbs since January then gained 2 lbs back. Trying not to obsess over the # on the scale. I’m using the Zero app that you mentioned and it helps to average the weight loss by week. Not as hard as I thought it would be, but I still get hungry in the morning 😳. It’s manageable though and nice to have my clothes fitting better!

    1. That’s great! Yeah, if you’re gaining, play around with diet a bit. You may need to do low carb until you get to your goal weight. And be sure you aren’t over eating. As they say, eat for your hunger now, not for how you think you’ll feel tomorrow.

  25. Hi! I have a question that I didn’t see in the previous comments. What do you do about exercise? I work out every morning. I hike 2x week, play tennis, work with a fitness coach 2x a week. These are all pretty intense workouts. I can’t imagine having the stamina to get through them without eating something first. Do the books address this? I’m curious because I’ve been seeing a lot of ppl referencing IF & I’m trying to decide if it’s something I would benefit from.

      1. Thanks for the reply. I’m going to start by reading The Obesity Code. Even with eating healthy, normal blood work and all my physical activity, I’m still up 10 pounds and I don’t like it. Not too stressed about the 10 but don’t want to keep going up. I’m 58 this month and refuse to accept the “10 lb gain” with each decade. Your blog is my favorite!  

  26. Jo-Lynne, thanks for sharing your IF journey with us. I am just starting IF after reading Gin’s book and know I’ll have to figure out what works best for me as I go. 
    It’s interesting that you wrote about this today, especially since how I noticed how good you look. Truth be told, I noticed how healthy and  you looked before noticing what you were styling. 

  27. Welcome to the black coffee club!  My dad always said “if you want a cup of cream and sugar, why did you ask for coffee?” Lol…

  28. I’ve been experimenting with this over the last month and have a lost a couple of pounds…right or wrong, I’ll take it.

    You’ve occasionally mentioned lunching with friends…How do you adapt on those days:  by shifting your window, expanding it, or something else.   

    Thanks for sharing it all, btw.  You look great!

    1. Either/or. 🙂 Usually I shift my window, and try to skip dinner. But if my family wants to eat, I will cook and eat light, so that expands my window. I can still easily fit it all into an 8 hour window, so it’s no big deal in the grand scheme.

  29. Thanks for the detailed IF update! I jumped on the bandwagon shortly after you and my experience has been nearly identical. Trying not to get hung up on the scale number is a hard lesson to learn but all the other benefits came on surprisingly easy. I had to ease in to clean fasting since I was sure there was no way I could stand black coffee and the switch flipped about a month ago and I’m all “blonde americano” now!! Never thought THAT was possible.

      1. It’s just a regular americano made with the lighter roast “blonde” espresso beans instead of the regular ones. It’s supposed to be less acidic. It’s still just coffee and water so it doesn’t break your fast.

  30. I have been doing IF since last April 2nd and have lost 60 pounds and 40 inches! Started out at 215! At goal weight for a 68 year old woman. I do 16-8 or 18-6 most weeks depending on my schedule. I also do a 24 hour fast on Fridays if I get a little stagnant in my loss and this usually get me going again. I have dieted all my life and this works! I also eat no sugar, carbs only from vegetables, very little dairy or wheat because it causes inflammation in my body. So glad you are having success in your journey too!

  31. I, too, have tried just about every diet out there. Unfortunately, I have much more to lose than you. I have been toying with the idea of IF, but am having the hardest time getting started. Read

    1. I think I might start eating in an 8 hour window (11-7) and gradually eliminate foods that I know make me gain. From there I can modify. Your blog is motivating.

  32. My husband started Keto and IF in January and I joined him to be supportive. What I love is that a lot of the Keto is Gluten free, so that works awesome for me. We find we are eating a lot more vegetables and aren’t eating out as much (which is also good on the pocketbook). I am down 15 pounds, but still 30 pounds from my goal weight. I understand this is a marathon, not a sprint but like you, the fact that I already feel better is incentive enough to keep going. Good luck to you and thanks for sharing!

  33. I appreciate your information about IF! It was recommended to me, along with a Paleo diet, for a few health reasons. I haven’t jumped into it yet because I’m one to gather all information first. I’ll check out these books. Happy to hear it’s working for you, that’s encouraging 🙂

    1. Keep reading, and maybe listen to a few of the Intermittent Stories podcasts. But at some point, you just have to jump in and give it a try. 🙂 You can tweak it as you go and learn more.

  34. Sounds like the IF is working great for you (and it shows in your photos). You also look like you’re confident in what you’re doing and feeling good, which is most important. You look great! It also sounds like you’ve inspired a ton of your followers. (Hopefully that’s not extra pressure for you!)
    My husband has been doing IF with fidelity since Jan 1st as well and has lost about 5 pounds. He didn’t really need to lose much, but was hoping to drop about 10 pounds and see if he felt better overall as well. He struggles with sleeping continuously through the night. He’s self-employed and so he has more flexibility with time and is able to wait until 1:00 or 2:00 to start eating. I tried it too, but I just couldn’t stick with it. I think part of my issue was the demands of my job (not making excuses) but being an elementary teacher is so grueling and I have to be “on” from 7:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon teaching 10 year olds, entertaining, directing, putting out fires, doing the dog & pony show so to speak, smiling, being patient,….. and I just couldn’t do it without energy from food. But, it’s fine. I’ve never had a weight problem, but as I’ve entered menopause I’ve had some digestive issues here and there. Since giving up most dairy products though, I feel so much better. Makes sense since dairy products can cause inflammation. I’m back to my normal diet which is pretty much real food/ Mediterranean style and I always eat breakfast. Like right now, I’m sitting here grading papers and snacking on an apple and some nuts. Anyway, not that you asked for my life story or even care.. hahaha! I bet you crack up at how much your followers are willing to share! 🙂 I think I’m trying to avoid all the work that is staring up at me. 🙂 Have a great day!

    1. LOL, I love that you’re chatty! Everyone has to decide what works for them, but I will tell you that if you get used to fasting, you will have more energy and mental clarity, not less. I promise. 🙂 But I’m not saying you should do it. If I didn’t want the weight loss and maintenance benefits, I wouldn’t have ever started. A couple of teachers (literally a couple – husband and wife) interviewed on the podcast started in the summer, thinking they could adapt while not having to be “on” for so much of the day, but then decided it was almost harder b/c they were home so much and not as busy. There was another group of teachers interviewed (4 friends) that did it together, starting in Jan, and they felt that having that group support really helped. Anyway, just a few anecdotal stories that I recall. But in all those cases, weight loss was the motivating factor. I know you don’t need to lose weight, so I’m sure I’d just stick to life as usual if I were in your shoes. Clearly you’re in tune with your satiety signals, and your metabolism doesn’t need to be reset. What health benefits were appealing to you?

  35. Really great info here, thank you! I lost 80 pounds eating this way over 10 years ago before it was a thing, or at least before I knew it was a thing 🙂 Eating this way completely changed how I thought about food. Eating to Live, not living to Eat became my mantra. I am a stronger, healthier, and happier me. Thanks for sharing Jolynne!

  36. Hi JL! I found your blog a couple of months ago and your recommendation for Obesity Code.  I bought the book and read it in 3 days. It was an “aha” moment for me. In my late 40s, I was also struggling with peri menopausal weight gain, brain fog, moodiness, etc. I’ve tried every diet known to man — whole 30, south beach, Mediterranean… you name it and nothing has worked the last couple years. I thought I was destined to look like “an egg on legs” for the rest of my life.  IF has changed all of that. I feel fantastic and even my husband noticed my lack of mood swings and more pleasant demeanor. Ha! Thank you for your recommendation and sharing your journey. It has been life changing for me! All the best! Chelley C.

  37. I am so ready to try this.  My only question is how have you found this to work with workouts?  Trying to alternate a day of weight training with day of running and not sure how it’s going to affect performance doing it fasted. (Early mornings). Any tips on how this has worked for you?

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